Skip to Highlights
Highlights

THAT TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS OF NAVY WERE RESTRICTIVE. IN ABSENCE OF EVIDENCE TO CONTRARY PERSONNEL TO WHOM A GOVERNMENT AGENCY HAS ENTRUSTED DECISION MAKING RESPONSIBILITY MUST BE PRESUMED TO BE TECHNICALLY COMPETENT AND ADEQUATELY INFORMED SO THAT DECISIONS AS TO WHETHER EQUIPMENT MEETS NEEDS OF AGENCY ARE REACHED IN GOOD FAITH AND ON REASONABLE GROUNDS. DENYING THE PROTEST OF AGAC-DERRITRON INCORPORATED THAT THE TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION OF THE NAVY REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS CONCERNED WAS UNDULY RESTRICTIVE IN THAT IT REQUIRED MEASUREMENT OF ACCELERATION SPECTRAL DENSITY BY INDIVIDUAL CHANNEL METERS AND DID NOT PERMIT USE OF AN OSCILLOSCOPE PRESENTATION AS OFFERED IN AGAC-DERRITRON'S PROPOSAL.

View Decision

B-167180, SEP 17, 1969

BID PROTEST - SPECIFICATIONS - CONFORMANCE DECISION TO ARA ELECTRONICS, INC., SUSTAINING DECISION OF AUGUST 11, 1969, DENYING PROTEST OF AGAC-DERRITRON, INC. THAT TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS OF NAVY WERE RESTRICTIVE. IN ABSENCE OF EVIDENCE TO CONTRARY PERSONNEL TO WHOM A GOVERNMENT AGENCY HAS ENTRUSTED DECISION MAKING RESPONSIBILITY MUST BE PRESUMED TO BE TECHNICALLY COMPETENT AND ADEQUATELY INFORMED SO THAT DECISIONS AS TO WHETHER EQUIPMENT MEETS NEEDS OF AGENCY ARE REACHED IN GOOD FAITH AND ON REASONABLE GROUNDS.

MR. STANLEY B. WEXLER:

WE REFER TO YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 2, 1969, CONCERNING OUR DECISION OF AUGUST 11, 1969, B-167180, DENYING THE PROTEST OF AGAC-DERRITRON INCORPORATED THAT THE TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION OF THE NAVY REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS CONCERNED WAS UNDULY RESTRICTIVE IN THAT IT REQUIRED MEASUREMENT OF ACCELERATION SPECTRAL DENSITY BY INDIVIDUAL CHANNEL METERS AND DID NOT PERMIT USE OF AN OSCILLOSCOPE PRESENTATION AS OFFERED IN AGAC-DERRITRON'S PROPOSAL.

YOU STATE THAT TO THE BEST OF YOUR KNOWLEDGE THE NAVY TECHNICIANS HAVE NEVER MANIPULATED, MANEUVERED, ADJUSTED OR IN ANY OTHER WAY OPERATED OR PERFORMED AN ANLAYSIS OF A SYSTEM BUILT BY AGAC-DERRITRON ALTHOUGH THEY HAD BEEN INVITED TO DO SO. YOU FURTHER STATE THAT EVEN THOUGH THE MATTER MAY HAVE BEEN REVIEWED AND RE-REVIEWED BY THE NAVY TECHNICAL PERSONNEL THE FACT STILL REMAINS THAT NO ONE HAS TAKEN THE TIME TO OBJECTIVELY INVESTIGATE THE AGAC-DERRITRON EQUIPMENT IN THE LIGHT OF NAVY'S ACTUAL NEEDS.

AS STATED IN OUR DECISION OF AUGUST 11, THE CONTRACTING AGENCIES OF THE GOVERNMENT HAVE THE PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITY FOR DETERMINING THE GOVERNMENT'S NEEDS AND FOR DRAFTING PROPER SPECIFICATIONS WHICH REFLECT THOSE NEEDS. THIS OFFICE, HAVING NEITHER A SCIENTIFIC NOR ENGINEERING STAFF, HAS NO WAY OF DETERMINING, EXCEPT THROUGH TECHNICALLY INFORMED PERSONNEL OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE AGENCIES, WHETHER PARTICULAR FEATURES OF A MANUFACTURED TECHNICAL OR SCIENTIFIC PRODUCT SUCH AS THAT HERE INVOLVED ARE REASONABLY NECESSARY FOR THE NEEDS TO BE FILLED. WHILE THE ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATIONS SHOULD INCLUDE CONSIDERATION OF THE SUITABILITY OF ITEMS OF DIFFERING DESIGNS AND FEATURES, THE FINAL DECISION MUST REST IN THE EXERCISE OF INFORMED JUDGMENT, AND IN THE ABSENCE OF CONVINCING EVIDENCE TO THE CONTRARY WE MUST ASSUME THAT THE PERSONNEL TO WHOM THE INVOLVED GOVERNMENT AGENCY HAS ENTRUSTED THE DECISION-MAKING RESPONSIBILITY ARE TECHNICALLY COMPETENT AND ADEQUATELY INFORMED, AND THAT THEIR DECISIONS ARE REACHED IN GOOD FAITH AND ON SOME REASONABLE GROUNDS. WHETHER ACTUAL TESTING OF PROPOSED ALTERNATE DESIGNS AND FEATURES IS NECESSARY TO DETERMINE THEIR ACCEPTABILITY FOR THE INTENDED USE MUST BE REGARDED AS A MATTER FOR RESOLUTION UNDER THE SAME STANDARDS. ALTHOUGH YOU CONTEND THAT THE NAVY TOOK ADVANTAGE OF THIS OFFICE'S POSITION OF DEPENDENCE IN SCIENTIFIC MATTERS TO PERPETRATE AN ACT THAT HAS CAUSED THE GOVERNMENT TO SPEND ADDITIONAL FUNDS TO PROCURE A SYSTEM NO MORE THAN EQUIVALENT TO THAT WHICH AGAC DERRITRON PROPOSED, SUCH CONTENTION, UNSUPPORTED BY CLEAR AND CONVINCING PROOF, PROVIDES NO BASIS FOR A REVISION OF OUR ACTION IN THIS MATTER.

ACCORDINGLY, OUR DECISION OF AUGUST 11 IS AFFIRMED.

GAO Contacts